DELTA, Ohio — Bonita “Bonnie” Kigar, who employed her artistic sense and her skill at pleasing customers as owner of a local flower shop, died Monday at home in Fulton County’s Swan Creek Township. She was 60.
She had pulmonary hypertension and congestive heart failure, her husband, Rick, said.
Mrs. Kigar operated the Floral Depot in Delta from the late 1990s until long-term health problems worsened in 2003 and forced her to sell the shop.
Weddings, funerals, and such occasions as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day generated much of her business — and could keep her at work past 11 p.m.
“If the holiday called for flowers, she was the go-to person locally to get those,” her husband said. “She just enjoyed putting something together and then standing back and taking pride.”
Her daughter Lisa added: “The flowers brought so much happiness to people.”
Mrs. Kigar liked to decorate and was already making silk flower arrangements at home when she learned that the local florist was interested in getting out of business, her husband said. She worked in the shop alongside the owner — and then bought the shop.
She already knew the details of running an enterprise day to day. Since the early 1980s, she’d helped and encouraged her husband in his auction business, now known as Kigar Realty & Auction in Delta.
“If it wasn’t for Bonnie, I probably wouldn’t have gotten in my career where I’ve gotten,” her husband said. “It was her encouragement and her positive attitude and her support. ... ‘You’re good enough and you can do this.’ ”
The Kigars began as strictly an auction service and bought and sold estates. She was cashier at auctions, and she did much of the paperwork and bought the newspaper ads.
She developed an eye for collectibles and antiques as the niece of Cora and Robert McCracken. The couple had collected treasures for decades and owned an antique shop near their home on Detroit Avenue in Toledo. They continued to collect long after they closed the shop. In 1998, after Mrs. McCrack-en’s death, the Kigars conducted an estate auction of more than 2,000 items — from Toby jugs and Libbey glass to compacts, paperweights, and souvenir spoons from across the country.
“She didn’t have any furniture in her living room other than china cupboards,” Mrs. Kigar told The Blade in 1998. Yet, as the public bidding began, Mrs. Kigar reflected, “She was a very private person.”
The sale was held in the Junior Fair Building at the Fulton County Fairgrounds.
When the Kigars evaluated an estate, Mrs. Kigar with authority could “lead, guide, and direct our help as to what to put in the truck and what to leave behind.”
As the business became established, Mrs. Kigar spent more time with administrative duties in the office. And she continued to boost her husband. After he won the 1988 Ohio State Fair Championship Auctioneers’ Bid Calling Contest, Mrs. Kigar said, “ ‘You have to go to the nationals,’ ” he recalled. He did and finished in the final 10 both years he competed.
She was born Feb. 3, 1953, to Norma and James Carey and grew up south of Delta. She was a 1972 graduate of Delta High School.
She was formerly married to Anthony Paul Stiriz.
Surviving are her husband, Rick Kigar, whom she married Aug. 25, 1979; daughters, Lisa Yoder and Angel Beagle; sister, Colleen Overmier; four grandchildren, and five step-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. today in Barnes Funeral Chapel, Delta, where services will be 10 a.m. Saturday.
The family suggests tributes to Community Health Professionals Hospice, Archbold, Ohio, or Delta Church of Christ, where she was a member.
Contract Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.